2012 NFL Mock Draft: Andrew Luck and More Locks for Early Success
Andrew Luck and a handful of other players are going to make a seamless transition to the NFL. These gifted players are going to step onto NFL fields and make an impact from the first day.
This is certainly no easy task. It takes most players a while to adjust to the speed, intensity and talent of the NFL game. However, for various reasons, there are a few players in this draft ready to make that transition look easy.
You can find out which ones as they are highlighted below in my latest mock draft.
Richard Langford's Mock Draft
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Will Andrew Luck ever win the MVP?
It should come as no surprise that Luck is one of the players pegged to have instant success. He is one of the most highly touted players to ever enter the NFL.
Almost all scouts felt he was ready to step into a starting quarterback role last year. That is even more true now that he has another year of experience under his belt.
I could go on about his skills and attributes, but you've certainly heard it all before, and Luck explains these best himself. Take a look.
2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Kalil is a physically gifted human being with an amazing combination of size and foot speed.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Morris Claiborne is an athletic corner with shutdown potential.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Blackmon is a strong receiver with amazing hands. He lacks elite size or speed, but he more than makes up for it with his instincts.
Will Richardson gain over 1,000 yards as a rookie?
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson is one of the most polished backs to ever enter the draft. He can run, catch and block at an NFL level.
These skills mean that the Buccaneers will be able to plug him into the starting lineup and leave him there, because he can perform in every situation.
This is going to lead to plenty of touches and big stats for Richardson in his rookie season.
6. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Griffin has the kind of tools that make scouts drool. Mike Shanahan will be ecstatic if he gets a chance to draft him.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff is a polished blocker with sound technique. He doesn't have as high of a ceiling as Kalil, but he will likely be better initially.
8. Carolina Panthers: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Still is a strong interior lineman. His mass and strength make him a natural to clog running lanes.
That is not all Still brings to the table either. He is a decent pass-rusher and should be able to provide valuable pressure from the interior of the defensive line.
This explosive infusion of talent will help the entire Panthers defense—especially the defensive line. Still may not end the season with the most eye-popping stats, but there are few rookies that will make more of an impact on their team than he will.
9. Miami Dolphins: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Martin is a strong tackle with a high floor. This is a safe and strong pick.
10. Buffalo Bills: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Kirkpatrick is a physical corner that is comfortable playing man or zone.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
DeCastro is the cream of the crop for interior offensive lineman, and this is an area of need for the Chiefs.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Vontaze Burfict, LB, ASU
This talented linebacker has the potential to be one of the league's best interior linebackers. He just needs to learn to stop losing his mind in anger and picking up dumb penalties.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Wright would be a nice speedy threat to complement Fitzgerald.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Kuechly is one of the most instinctive players in the draft. His nose for the ball is second to none.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
Coples has the quickness and size to play in a 3-4 or a 4-3. He will be strong against the run and provide QB pressure with his bull rush.
16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
Ingram would give the Jets some much needed athleticism and pass rush.
17. Cincinnati Bengals via OAK: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Lamar Miller is not nearly as well-rounded as Richardson, but he can run with the ball in his hands as well as anyone in this draft.
Miller is explosive and powerful. This kid runs hard, and he will be able to consistently crank out positive runs.
He also has the quickness and speed to occasionally pop for a long run. Miller needs to improve as a blocker and a pass catcher, but he will still be able to contribute in a big way in his rookie season.
18. San Diego Chargers: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Cornerback is not a huge need for the Chargers, but San Diego should not pass on this tremendous athlete.
19. Chicago Bears: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The Bears offensive line has been terrible. They need to fix this, and Konz is the best center in the draft.
20. Tennessee Titans: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Barron is a prototypical strong safety. He is 6'2" and 218 pounds. He does not have a elite speed, but with a 40 time expected to be in the low 4.5-range, he has enough speed.
He is also a crushing hitter and a sure tackler. Barron is tremendous in run support. He will be able to step up into the box when teams need additional run support, and he will flourish.
Barron is going to be a tackling machine, and you can expect him to be one of his team's leading tacklers.
He is also solid in coverage, and no receiver is going to like the idea of having to go over the middle with Barron paroling the defensive backfield.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jenkins is a very athletic corner that will be able to provide excellent man coverage.
22. Cleveland Browns via ATL: Zach Brown, OLB, UNC
Brown is a solid all-around linebacker that will be an asset rushing the passer, playing the run or sitting back in coverage.
23. Detroit Lions: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
The 340-pound Glenn is a massive guard that will be able to dominate in the run game. This is something the Lions desperately need.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Adams has solid size and moves his feet well. He would be drafted higher than No. 24 if it weren't for some character concerns.
25. Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Cox is a strong interior presence that can be a real disruptive force in the run game.
26. Houston Texans: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Texans need a legitimate No. 2 to line up on the other side of Andre Johnson. Floyd has some big character concerns, but he also has the potential to be a fantastic NFL receiver.
27. New England Patriots via NO: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Upshaw is a solid pass-rusher and a tremendous athlete. He would be a great fit for the Patriots' 3-4.
28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
Perry is another natural pass-rusher. He will have to refine his skills in other areas, but he will be able to get to the QB immediately.
29. New York Giants: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Worthy is a beast of an interior lineman. He will be a good run-stopping addition to a Giants line that is heavy with pass-rushers.
30. Baltimore Ravens: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
Hightower is a versatile linebacker, and one of the few that projects as an inside or outside backer.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The 49ers need a player that can stretch the field. They'll be ecstatic if Jeffery lasts until they pick.
32. New England Patriots: Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska
Crick will bring some needed athleticism to the Patriots defensive line.
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